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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to Attend BlogHer As a Dude

In the next month you will read post after post about OMG BlogHer I Can’t Wait To Go! or Damn BlogHer I Hate Those People Why Can’t They Shut Up About It?

You will read tips on how to interpret apparent standoffishness as shyness, snobbery as insecurity, hilarity as drunkenness. You will read about all the parties you will rock or feel outcast at. You will read…no, maybe you’ll just delete these posts, because they will become boring and repetitive.

But only here at Backpacking Dad will the MEN get the insight they’re looking for. Only here will the MEN attending BlogHer receive the reassurance they need to engage comfortably in a setting of a thousand women.

So, a list.

1. Figure out why you are there. Seriously, why are you there? Why? It’s called BlogHER, man, so what the hell are you doing there? And no, it isn’t enough that you take it seriously as a social media conference, or that you are interested in pro tips from the panelists, or meeting up with readers or friends or networking with powerful and influential people who happen to have vaginas. No. You are a dude. You have no business going to BlogHer despite how open and lovely everyone in the BlogHer organization is about including men. You have no business because someone in that room you are standing in will think you are a skeevy perv. So, unless you really are a skeevy perv you are going to have to do some thinking about yourself: Are you comfortable with your reasons for attending? If you are not, then the terrorists win. Fuck the terrorists.

2. Do your best not to hang out with other dudes. It’s BlogHer, man, and the point really is to interact with, and learn from and about, women. No matter how tempting it might be to form a circle of guy friends and hang out with them for three days in a sea of female writers and PR folks, this is a recipe for disaster. First, because guys have a tendency to reinforce guy-ness when they are around guys, and that inevitably means that your attempt at finding a safety zone will result in creating a permanent Dome of Awesome Hotness that the women won’t be able to breach. And then you’ll have spent all weekend in a Dome of Awesome Hotness and you could have done that at a bar at home. Also, guys in a Dome of Awesome Hotness have a tendency to start to whip ‘em out and pee on each other to reduce the hotness. You will start showboating, peacocking, competing, and generally turn into a dick, Shawn. Find female friends to hang out with and engage with other men as opportunity allows, but do not rely on them for comfort and inclusion.

3. Bring a nice shirt.

4. Make sure you really really really have something valuable and original to add to a conversation before asking for a microphone during a panel and putting in your two cents and your balls. Maybe the room has something to learn from you, but be certain that you aren’t just talking to hear yourself speak and to look cool in front of everyone, Shawn.

5. Take lots of pictures, but do not allow pictures to be taken of yourself. You look terrible, and you don’t need those memories.

6. Always be more sober than the person next to you. Because it’s completely awesome to let them go on and on and start to say insane things, but odds are there is a video camera around somewhere and you don’t want to be the star of Dudes At BlogHer Gone Wild.

7. Do not wear your cargo shorts, Shawn.

8. You will be memorable. You will not be able to remember everyone. The disparity will fuel your ego while also spiraling you into despair. Forget about it. It’s not about you. That is, you aren’t memorable because of how awesome you are, but because of how male you are. You might also be awesome. But so are a thousand women in the room and I’ll give you odds that you get more attention than 75% of them. Don’t let it go to your head. Also, don’t let it go to your head. And don’t let it go to your head. Behave like someone who deserves to be a rock star, not like someone who is a rock star. Be cool, man. Just be cool. It’s not up to you to be the life of the party. Find someone else to pressure into being the life of the party.

9. Do your utmost to give unsolicited advice to other male BlogHer attendees. It will endear you to them and they will want to be your friend. They don’t have any influence, though, so make sure you spurn them for someone who does at the first opportunity.

10. Write a post-BlogHer post about all the people you met, but wait until six or seven months have gone by so that you can really strain your memory.

Any other advice for the guys going this year?

Ladies, feel free to offer up your “skeevy dude” stories and then feel utterly remorseful about assuming that about him. But yeah, I saw that guy. What a perv.

39 comments:

Deb said...

I don't know about advice, but I have a wish. I hope that you keep an eye on Neil. I think he needs a BlogHer buddy. Not sure why, I just think it's a good idea for all concerned.

Your cargo shorts will be FINE.

Father Muskrat said...

I was going to go for all the wrong reasons. Thanks for writing this post and changing my mind.

Deb said...

Sorry to double dip, but I had to add that I also hope that if that enough of us are annoyed by the singer guy that you will go ahead and fall into gender expectations and take him down. Or at least block the videos so that I can take him down myself.

HappyHourSue said...

LMAO at "dome of Awesome Hotness". Personally, I think you're brilliant. If there was a BlogHim I would be packing my bags as we speak.

Undomestic Diva said...

I can't wait to penetrate this Dome of Awesome Hotness.

Redneck Mommy said...

Wear the cargo shorts. I need something to laugh at.

And I'm slightly disappointed you didn't mention on how deal with a situation when some one accuses you of being a tucker in front of a room full of women.

I hear you have some insight to that quandry.

Julie @ The Mom Slant said...

Between your post and Kristen's, I'm ready to sell a kid on eBay so that I can get to Chicago, if not into the actual conference, because I need to put stuff on Her Bad Mother again and I somehow missed this Dome of Hotness last year thanks to that baby of mine who kept distracting me.

Rose said...

My biggest regret about last year's BlogHer is that I didn't get to meet you. Delighted that we have to fly halfway across the country to finally do so. Heh!
Bring the cargo shorts. Own it man.

BusyDad said...

I just want to feel like a piece of meat. Is that so wrong?

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

excited to meet you! :)

sam {temptingmama} said...

The Dome of Awesome Hotness sounds totally - awesome. Anything is penetrable after a few drinks.

Wait. Um. What was the question?

Black Hockey Jesus said...

All I have is cargo shorts. When did these things go out? Well, I don't care. I'm wearing them. I'm not buying new clothes of doing the 30 Day Shred.

Seriously. People laugh at cargo shorts? How can you make fun of so many pockets? Wallet. Phone. Keys. Business cards. It's all good with cargo shorts.

Now, you've stressed me out.

Miss Grace said...

BHJ, don't wear your cargo shorts. Or do. Whatever. Who am I to judge.

Amo said...

Cargo shorts are like the hip version of the man-purse.

I say wear them. You'll be judged regardless.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Neil's been very vocal about attending to get laid, and yet, I don't believe it for a moment. No, I think he's just going so he can say he was an integral part of the Dome of Awesome Hotness. When are you guys going to invent BlogHim? I'd love to be one of 5 females going to THAT. (That sounds whorish, but I really don't mean it in a whorish way.)

maggie, dammit said...

I love that all of the comments are about Neil.

PAPATV said...

Also, remember there will only be 1 bathroom for the guys, so please put the seat down, Shawn.

;)

Swirl Girl said...

You might want to tell the dudes to leave the shoes with the mirrored toetips at home as well.

wish i were going - I'd be hanging with all the guys in my own mini-dome of lukewarm-ness.

Lady M said...

I think I met you last year while you were rocking a baby (Jasper? Oliver?) Hope to see you in a couple of weeks!

Amazing Greis said...

Wow, I had no idea that there would be a "Dome of Awesome Hotness" in Chicago. Sounds pretty HOT!

See you in July!

Stefania/CityMama said...

You forgot: Carry around your own personal bottle of Grey Goose for when the People's Party runs out of free booze.

anymommy said...

I love #4 and I need to remember that very much myself. Don't open your big mouth, Stacey. Is there a time out corner we could sit in?

Carmen said...

Wear the cargo shorts. Or don't wear them - you rock the Dome of Hotness all by your ownself. Me - I'm hanging in the Dome of Lukewarmness, which I'm hoping will be somewhat near the DOA so I can bask in the glow of the Shawn.

Best part of the conference last year. Can't wait for next month.

attiton said...

Yes, what about the menz, Shawn. What about the menz??

furiousBall said...

oh i know a couple be sure to wet willy the following bloggers...

The Bloggess, jenijen, Nina (she's hot), and anyone that looks at you funny.

VDog said...

I think cargo shorts are HAWT.

Srsly.

Raur.

HAWT.

See you there, beesh.

mommymae said...

i vote for no cargo shorts...or any shorts, for that matter.

LiteralDan said...

Black Hockey Jesus stole my comment, in spirit and almost in exact words.

Is there some kind of blog law I can harness to punish him for that?

I have to wear cargo shorts-- let's all make a really gay pledge to all wear cargo shorts! Please?

kyooty said...

so the monthof July is going to be Blogher this and blogher that? and you've started in June?

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

If I wear cargo shorts can I be invited in to the Dome of Awesome Hotness or do I need a penis? And if I need a penis can I just borrow someone's and put it in one of the many pockets of my cargo shorts?

Headless Mom said...

Make sure to take a picture with some chick comparing your guns.

MelADramatic Mommy said...

Dome of Awesome Hotness. I have now added it to my must see list. I am jealous of the cargo shorts. I wish it were that easy. The ladies rooming with me are going to compare me with Teresa from RHONJ when they went to Atlantic City. Except without the bubbie talk.

creative-type dad said...

There's nothing wrong with cargo shorts.
Pleated shorts - yes.

Jerri Ann said...

This is my first Blogher to attend and I am so glad I am going to be there because until now, I've been one of those sitting at home bitching because every post was about Blogher an damnit I want to go doggone it.

moosh in indy. said...

Watch out for that moosh in indy chick. Because she's always more sober than you and lightening quick with a camera.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

So why are YOU going to BlogHer?

Steven-Sanders said...

I'm going to Blogher, and I'm so glad you wrote this, if only so I know I'm not the only guy.

And I'm going because Izea is paying my way, and my wife wanted to go to Blogher since I was getting the room and travel paid for. So I'm there to support her. She's Bosssanders btw.

Plus since women are pretty much the power behind blogging, I thought it'd be great to bask in their awesomeness. :)

One more thing. I'm giving away a free ticket to IzeaFest 09 while at blogher. To enter simply find me and give me your business card. I'll be the one wearing the cargo shorts. :)

Gena said...

Dear Men Folk - please do wear the cargo shorts. There will be all manner of recording devices and if you wear said shorts there will be women folk checking out the gams, er, calves.

Said images/video will be posted for mass consumption. Socks in sandals? I wouldn't but I support your right to do so.

But really, no.

Please don't try to make a move on women holding babies. Or women in deeply engaged conversations. Or women trying to eat lunch while hooking up networking opportunities.

Remember, photos and video and keystrokes will rat out the offenders at a high rate of speed.

Guys we know that you are hot for attending BlogHer, no need to prove it. Oh, yeah, that certain room that folks will be talking about the next day. Never happened.

And no, I don't know where the Cheeseburger party will be held.

Jerri Ann said...

This is my first Blogher and I am more than just a little excited to meet you. That might make me the skeevy perv uh?

Actually, I am terrified myself. I met Tanis at Blissdom and I spoke with her a few weeks ago about being terrified. I commonly read the twitter feed between the two of you and she had all kinds of nice things to say about you (shhhh don't tell her I told on her) when I met her at Blissdom. I've asked to be part of her hem and hang on her coattails if I start to feel out of place.....

Cute blog post....too cute...you are too cute most all the time.